High-Tech Bridge, a cybersecurity firm out of Geneva, Switzerland, recently opened its U.S. office in a high-rise building on California Street in San Francisco.
The fledgling company made global headlines over the past year for its groundbreaking ImmuniWeb brand, an award-winning on-demand Web application security testing service. It just inked a strategic agreement with PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers), who is bringing the ImmuniWeb service to its clients.
High-Tech Bridge’s founder is Ilia Kolochenko, a 28-year-old cybersecurity expert and entrepreneur. Kolochenko is the brainchild behind ImmuniWeb, which is a combination of a Web security platform and a virtual team of information security professionals who test Web applications for vulnerabilities. The hybrid service is unique and compelling, delivering not just a service but actual people who perform manual penetration testing and write reports for ImmuniWeb’s clients.
ImmuniWeb is like a fast-food drive-thru for testing Web apps. Anyone, small businesses up to major corporations, can go online and, within five minutes, order a Web app test. Then Kolochenko’s group delivers.
ImmuniWeb’s Penetration Testers – a.k.a. Pen-Testers and Ethical Hackers – simulate real-life cyberattacks in order to find vulnerabilities in applications. Amidst the backdrop of a severe cybersecurity labor shortage, Kolochenko has managed to recruit a group of top Pen-Testers who are located globally – and you might say the secret sauce in ImmuniWeb.
Web applications are the weakest point in corporate cyber defense, according to the Q3 2015 Web Security Report, published by Cybersecurity Ventures in Menlo Park, Calif. Web application attacks, point-of-sale intrusions, cyber espionage and crimeware were the leading causes of confirmed data breaches last year, according to findings based on data collected by Verizon Enterprise Solutions and 70 other organizations from almost 80,000 security incidents and over 2,000 confirmed data breaches in 61 countries.
High-Tech Bridge plans to turn its San Francisco office into a much bigger operation over time.
“We have an increasing demand for ImmuniWeb from the United States and Canada,” says Kolochenko. “In order to assure the highest quality of service and support to our North American customers, we decided to open a regional office in San Francisco. This is just a start. In the near future we plan to move some of our European technical and research teams to Silicon Valley, where the most innovative ideas are being developed and implemented. Switzerland will remain our legal base, as Swiss jurisdiction is ideal to protect our customers’ data and privacy.”
High-Tech Bridge is seeking VC funding – another reason for setting up shop in the Bay area.
A report by Bessemer Venture Partners (BVP), a multinational $4 billion venture capital firm, taps cybersecurity as one of three areas within cloud as particularly high growth. Referring to the importance of securing cloud applications – and the potential staggering market impact of not securing them – BVP states, “If Salesforce went down for two days, the whole industry would lose 20 percent off its valuations.”
To line it all up, ImmuniWeb aims to bring Web application security testing to the masses. If it can pull it off – and the early indications seem like it can – then the VCs will line up to hear Kolochenko’s pitch.
Steve Morgan is founder and CEO at Cybersecurity Ventures and editor-in-chief of the Cybersecurity Market Report and the Cybersecurity 500 list of the world’s hottest and most innovative cybersecurity companies. Follow Steve on Twitter or connect with him on LinkedIn.